Tag: NASA

For all humankind

Can a government promote morality? How much trust should people place in their government? Such fundamental questions of political philosophy and ethics intrigue Leela Fredlund, a senior majoring in political science and physics. She has parsed these topics in ancient Greek texts, interrogated them in formal classroom recitations, and debated them informally with student friends. […]

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Professor Emeritus Igor Paul, an expert in product design and safety, dies at 87

Professor Emeritus Igor Paul ’60, SM ’61, PhD ’64, an influential professor of mechanical engineering, passed away on Dec. 17, 2023 at his home in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was 87.  Paul was a member of the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty from 1964 until his retirement in 2003, and helped to develop the […]

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Astronomers spot 18 black holes gobbling up nearby stars

Star-shredding black holes are everywhere in the sky if you just know how to look for them. That’s one message from a new study by MIT scientists, appearing today in the Astrophysical Journal. The study’s authors are reporting the discovery of 18 new tidal disruption events (TDEs) — extreme instances when a nearby star is […]

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New Discovery ‘Keeps Hope Alive’ to Find Signs of Life on Mars, Scientists Say

Image: NASA via Getty Images ABSTRACT breaks down mind-bending scientific research, future tech, new discoveries, and major breakthroughs. The latest scans of the Martian Jezero crater by NASA’s Perseverance rover have confirmed what scientists previously suspected—that there was once an ancient lake there. The findings offer renewed hope that we might find traces of life in […]

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Mars helicopter borked, broken, an ex-helicopter, now abandoned and alone

Space fans prepare yourselves, for I have some sad news: NASA’s Mars-based helicopter, Ingenuity, has flown its last, thanks to a broken rotor blade. It is now an ex-helicopter, or if you prefer, the little space helicopter that no longer could. Pour one out for a true original, and give mad respect to the first […]

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Researchers release open-source space debris model

MIT’s Astrodynamics, Space Robotics, and Controls Laboratory (ARCLab) announced the public beta release of the MIT Orbital Capacity Assessment Tool (MOCAT) during the 2023 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Space Forum Workshop on Dec. 14. MOCAT enables users to model the long-term future space environment to understand growth in space debris and assess […]

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A carbon-lite atmosphere could be a sign of water and life on other terrestrial planets, MIT study finds

Scientists at MIT, the University of Birmingham, and elsewhere say that astronomers’ best chance of finding liquid water, and even life on other planets, is to look for the absence, rather than the presence, of a chemical feature in their atmospheres. The researchers propose that if a terrestrial planet has substantially less carbon dioxide in […]

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NASA creates cat meme history with a space laser blasting a clip of Taters over 30 million kilometres

NASA has demonstrated a successful transmission of a high-definition video from a probe over 30 million kilometres away in space. Instead of using the traditional method of radio waves, the system onboard asteroid-probe Psyche utilises a powerful near-infrared laser beam. Rather than showing us the unnerving splendour of the empty void, engineers chose a 15-second […]

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How to be an astronaut

The first question a student asked Warren “Woody” Hoburg ’08 during his visit to MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro) this November was: “It seems like there’s no real way to know if being an astronaut is something you could really do. Are there any activities we can try out and see if astronaut-related […]

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NASA astronaut will celebrate Hanukkah in space with felt menorah

A NASA astronaut will “light” felt candles to celebrate Hanukkah in space. NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli plans to conduct the traditional lighting of the menorah in felt, given that the agency and International Space Station (ISS) wisely have restrictions against using fire aboard a spacecraft. The lighting will be done during Hanukkah, the Jewish festival […]

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The ISS just turned 25, and NASA is getting ready for the end (video)

The space station turned 25 years old on Wednesday (Dec. 6), and NASA is preparing for the pioneering outpost’s end. The agency just celebrated the milestone mission that docked the first two International Space Station (ISS) modules on Dec. 6, 1998. In the runup to that event, NASA updated its private proposal request to help […]

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SpaceX’s next Starship launch could feature key refueling test

The third flight of SpaceX’s giant Starship vehicle may be considerably more ambitious and complex than the first two. The coming mission could involve a refueling test, according to a recent presentation by Lakiesha Hawkins, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Moon to Mars program office. Hawkins spoke on Monday (Dec. 4) about the agency’s infrastructure […]

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Satellite map of North America’s largest glacier shows ‘hidden lagoon’ and other secrets

NASA has released a trippy, technicolor satellite photo of Alaska’s Malaspina Glacier, which makes the massive ice mass look like a fiery, rippling blob of paint. The new image highlights recent discoveries at the glacier, including a “hidden lagoon.”  The glacier, in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park on the state’s southeastern coast, covers around 1,680 square […]

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NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter Captures First-Ever Views of Mars From ISS Perspective

Scientists have achieved a groundbreaking feat by capturing the first-ever views of Mars from a perspective replicating what an astronaut would see from the International Space Station (ISS). NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter, tasked with preparing for future human missions to Mars, took a series of panoramic images in May from an altitude of approximately 250 […]

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MIT’s Science Policy Initiative holds 13th annual Executive Visit Days

From Oct. 23-24, a delegation consisting of 21 MIT students, one MIT postdoc, and four students from the University of the District of Columbia met in Washington for the MIT Science Policy Initiative’s Executive Visit Days (ExVD). Now in its 13th cycle, this trip offers a platform where university students and young researchers can connect […]

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Inside ‘Earthrise’: A historian’s take on the origins of the Apollo 8 ‘image of the century’

The recent death of Frank Borman, commander of Nasa’s Apollo 8 mission in 1968, has focused attention on that incredible first voyage to the Moon. It took place eight months before Apollo 11, where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored the lunar surface for the first time. However, the impact of Apollo 8’s “Earthrise” picture — the sight […]

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NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Laser Milestone: 16 Million Kilometers Away

NASA’s Psyche spacecraft has achieved a groundbreaking feat by beaming a laser-encoded message to Earth from a distance of approximately 16 million kilometers, marking the farthest-ever demonstration of optical communication in deep space. The Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment, riding along with Psyche on its way to the asteroid Psyche, successfully transmitted a near-infrared […]

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NASA’s Psyche spacecraft just fired a laser 10 million miles away in deep space

A NASA laser just fired successfully in a deep-space test. On Nov. 14, NASA picked up a laser signal fired from an instrument that launched with the Psyche spacecraft, which is currently more than 10 million miles (16 million kilometers) from Earth and heading toward a mysterious metal asteroid. (The spacecraft is at more than […]

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Canadian Space Agency will announce new astronaut assignments today (Nov. 22). Here’s how to watch it live.

Canada is announcing new “astronaut assignments” today (Nov. 22), and you can watch the event live. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will host a livestream at 9:30 a.m. EST (1430 GMT) on its YouTube channel and on Facebook, agency officials posted on X (formerly Twitter). The event will be at CSA headquarters near Montreal, Quebec. […]

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NASA astronaut sees her parents’ birth country from space. ‘This may be the closest I will ever get’

An astronaut with heritage from Iran spotted her parents’ homeland from space. NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli photographed Iran from the International Space Station (ISS) and shared the experience on X, formerly Twitter. While she has been in space for three months with SpaceX Crew-7, weather and her busy ISS schedule made it difficult to see […]

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